Credit Hour Guidelines

All St. John’s University degree and certificate programs are approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). The University’s method for awarding credit for courses in degree and certificate programs follow NYSED guidelines, which are based on the U.S. Department of Education’s definition of credit hour.

Below are the state and federal credit hour definitions and the URL to their source documents.

NYSED – Credit Hour Definition

All courses and degree programs at the University must comply with Section 50.1 (o) of the New York State Commissioner of Education Regulations:

  • Semester hour means a credit, point, or other unit granted for the satisfactory completion of a course which requires at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments, except as otherwise provided pursuant to section 52.2(c)(4) of this Subchapter. This basic measure shall be adjusted proportionately to translate the value of other academic calendars and formats of study in relation to the credit granted for study during the two semesters that comprise an academic year.

Source: highered.nysed.gov

U.S. Department of Education – Credit Hour Definition

The U.S. Department of Education defines credit hour as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  • One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or,
  • At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Source: ecfr.gov

Procedures for Implementation

  • Each School Dean is responsible for assuring that his or her School establishes, maintains, and follows appropriate procedures and protocols for assigning credit hours. The procedures and protocols must meet these minimum guidelines:
  • Each School must maintain procedures, written and web-accessible, pertaining to the assignment of credit hours for all courses offered, regardless of the format or modality of instruction. This includes but is not limited to traditional lectures, individual voice or music instruction, online courses, and any other offering that can result in earned credit.
  • Each School must document that its procedures provide for the assignment of credit hours for each course the School offers based on the following criteria:
    • Stated objectives for student learning, including (but not limited to) acquisition of content knowledge, key competencies, (such as skill in oral or written communication), or analytic reasoning skills;
    • Hours of instruction proposed for the course; and
    • Hours of supplementary assignments and student effort that are anticipated to take place outside the classroom. Hours of anticipated student effort outside the classroom can include estimated time spent on reading, writing, laboratory or studio assignments, preparation for examinations, etc.

More Information

Undergraduate

M,RT,FWS
0730-08550730-08550730-1020  0830-1115
0905-10300905-1030  
1040-12051040-12051040-13301130-1415
1215-13401215-1340  
Common Hour1350-15151350-16401430-1715
1525-16501525-1650  
1700-18251700-1825  
1910-20351910-2035  
2045-22102045-2210  

ONE night a week for Undergraduate:
1700-1950
1910-2200

Graduate

MTWTF
1700-19001700-19001700-19001700-19001700-1900
1910-21101910-21101910-21101910-21101910-2110

Key:
M = Monday
T = Tuesday
W = Wednesday
R = Thursday
F = Friday
S = Saturday
U = Sunday

Lectures and Seminars: Classroom/Faculty Instruction and Outside Student Work

Credits Awarded

Minimum Contact Time per Week (in contact minutes)

Minimum Contact Time Total for 15 Weeks
(Contact Time X Weeks)

Minimum
Out of Class Student Work per Week (in contact minutes)

Minimum
Out of Class Student Work for 15 Weeks
(Outside Work X Weeks)

Total of Instructional Contact Time and Out of Class Student Work (in minutes)

Total of Instructional Contact Time and Out of Class Student Work (in hours)

1

50

750

100

1500

2250

37.5

2

100

1500

200

3000

4500

75

3

150

2250

300

4500

6750

112.5

4

200

3000

400

6000

9000

150

 

Laboratory: Classroom/Faculty Instruction and Outside Student Work

Credits Awarded

Minimum Contact Time per Week (in contact minutes)

Minimum Contact Time Total for 15 Weeks
(Contact Time X Weeks)

Minimum
Out of Class Student Work per Week (in contact minutes)

Minimum
Out of Class Student Work for 15 Weeks
(Outside Work X Weeks)

Total of Instructional Contact Time and Out of Class Student Work (in minutes)

Total of Instructional Contact Time and Out of Class Student Work (in hours)

1

50

750

0

0

750

12.5

2

100

1500

0

0

1500

25

3

150

2250

0

0

2250

37.5

4

200

3000

0

0

3000

50

 
 

Art Studio: Classroom/Faculty Instruction and Outside Student Work

Credits Awarded

Minimum Contact Time per Week (in contact minutes)

Minimum Contact Time Total for 15 Weeks
(Contact Time X Weeks)

Minimum
Out of Class Student Work per Week (in contact minutes)

Minimum
Out of Class Student Work for 15 Weeks
(Outside Work X Weeks)

Total of Instructional Contact Time and Out of Class Student Work (in minutes)

Total of Instructional Contact Time and Out of Class Student Work (in hours)

3

360

5400

360

5400

10800

180

9

360

5400

1200

18000

23400

390

9 Capstone

1200

18000

120

1800

19800

330

 

Clinicals

Pharmacy Experiential Practice Rotations: Following the completion of required didactic and laboratory/simulation courses, students complete experiential rotations under the direction of either full-time and/or affiliate clinical faculty. These rotations are conducted in various practice environments  either on a full-time or part-time basis and allow students to apply knowledge either directly or indirectly to patients  under the supervision of a certified practitioner. The hours also are applicable for licensure requirements for some majors. The ratio of contact to credit hours is a minimum of 52:1.
Pharmacy Simulation Courses: These courses provide students with the opportunity to utilize simulated patients/scenarios to apply didactic knowledge in a simulated patient care environment. All activities are patient focused and are taught by full-time faculty. The contact hour to credit hour ratio for simulation courses is  52:1 for the semester.
Psychology: Courses with a focus on experiential learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member wherein the student performs substantive work in a clinical setting. The minimum contact time per credit is typically three times that of a lecture (3:1 ratio), depending upon the amount of outside work assigned.
Speech: Courses with a focus on experiential learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member wherein the student performs substantive work in a clinical setting. The minimum contact time per credit is typically three times that of a lecture (3:1 ratio), depending upon the amount of outside work assigned.

Hybrid Courses

Courses offered in a blended format with 1 or more on-site face-to-face class sessions and at least one or more online sessions, both containing direct interaction with a faculty member. Contact time is assessed using both on-site definitions, for the on-site portion and online definitions for the on-line portion. In all such instances, courses must follow the NYSED definition of credit hour.

Independent Study 

Courses of study in which a faculty member regularly interacts and directs student with periodic contact. Minimum credit hours are followed based on faculty instructional contact minutes and student outside work time. In all such instances, such courses must follow the NYSED definition of credit hour. The faculty member is required to keep records of the meeting times and student work assigned so that contact hours can be calculated.

Internship/Practica/Field Experience/Student Teaching 

Courses of study in which a faculty member regularly interacts and directs student outcomes with periodic contact, but where the actual learning environment takes place off-campus at an approved site. The learning experience will typically involve a site supervisor or preceptor and directed activity/learning will occur outside of a lecture setting .Contact time and outside student work requirements must be established and documented. In all such instances, such courses must follow the NYSED definition of credit hour. The faculty member or program director responsible for the experience is required to keep records of amount of supervised work and the amount of outside work assigned so that contact hours can be calculated.

Laboratory

Biology: Courses where handling of materials, equipment and experimental procedures provide a principal way of learning and gaining experience. Less formal than a classroom laboratory requires active participation and constant interaction with peers and instructors; it is an essential complement to classroom courses.  The minimum contact time per credit is typically twice that of a lecture (2:1 ratio).
Chemistry: Courses or components of courses  which focus on experiential learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member or instructor wherein the student performs substantive work in a scientific laboratory setting; it is an essential complement to classroom courses, or essential part of courses. The minimum contact time per credit is typically three times that of a lecture (3:1 ratio).
PharmacyCourses linked to didactic courses that allow the application of knowledge in an applied manner under the direct supervision of Faculty and/or Teaching fellows.  Course content focuses on the application of didactic coursework in an applied setting. For stand alone laboratory courses the contact to credit hours is 3:1 in the College.
Pharmacy Didactic/Laboratory Courses: In courses that incorporate laboratory components within a didactic course the credit to contact is a minimum of 1:1. These activities are conducted under the direct supervision of faculty.
Physics: Courses with a focus on experiential learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member or instructor wherein the student performs substantive work in a scientific laboratory setting and requires active participation and interaction with peers and instructors;  it is an essential complement to classroom courses. The minimum contact time per credit is typically three times that of a lecture (3:1 ratio).

Online Courses

Learning time is calculated by the St. John’s faculty member teaching the online course based upon student work and engagement including, but not limited to, reading course presentations and other materials; participation in online discussions; conducting research; writing papers or other assignments; taking exams, interactive tutorials, or computer-assisted instruction; engagement with the instructor regarding course content, and completing other assignments or projects.  The total time spent on these activities in an online course is equivalent to time spent on comparable activities in a face-to-face, traditional course.  Overall course objectives, learning outcomes and academic rigor are also equivalent for online and traditional courses at St. John’s.

As is the case with traditional, face-to-face courses, online course syllabi should provide evidence of compliance with the NYSED credit hour requirement by including course objectives; expected learning outcomes; course topic outline; course calendar; required textbooks; additional readings, software and related course materials; expectations for student participation, including the time and effort expected to participate in course activities (e.g., number and frequency of online postings); pedagogical tools and assessment methods including grading rubrics, if applicable, and relative weight of various assignments and deliverables in the calculation of the final course grade.